Historic Information Found Within Connecticut Home Uncovers that It Was a Sanctuary for Literary Legends

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From Robert Frost and John Steinbeck, John Hersey and Van Wyck Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning authors and luminaries gathered at Weston's Windy Hill, listed by Nicholas H. Fingelly Realty Company.

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Windy Hill

The house was built for entertaining, and you can envision the day Robert Frost first sat on the patio with John Steinbeck sipping cocktails.

Walking through Weston's historic Windy Hill is like stepping back in time into an Edith Wharton novel, but only during its restoration did the owners uncover evidence that the estate has sheltered Pulitzer Prize winning authors, noteworthy writers and artists for over three quarters of a century, including John Hersey, author of Hiroshima, whose writings and photographs tell the property's tale.

"Unrecognizable and badly damaged," is how owner Kimberly Brown Gilhuly described the home when she discovered it about ten years ago. Covered in ivy and broken from neglect, the house was barely reachable through the fallen trees and overgrowth. Herself an acclaimed designer and furniture manufacturer, Brown lovingly restored the main house and grounds with painstaking attention to the French Regency's rich literary history. "The house now has the same romantic feel it had when Van Wyck Brooks was writing the chapter of his memoirs entitled "Weston," while overlooking the distant views of the Sound," Brown says, "the house was built for entertaining, and you can envision the day Robert Frost first sat on the patio with John Steinbeck sipping cocktails.”

The current owners discovered the provenance of the home during the restoration of the main house and grounds. Every feature from the stark white stone drive to the specimen plantings outside, to the custom kitchen and baths remain true to the home's original characteristics. Brown believes that whomever purchases the estate will also fall in love with the home's history as a gathering place for famous writers, and hopes future owners can cultivate the now wild grape orchard, restore the two outbuildings and continue to curate this historic home.

As the current family in residence moves on, Windy Hill will continue to be a reminder of thoughtful writers penning erudite prose nestled within its walls, and as a gathering place where kindred spirits held lively discussions long into the night about the topics of the day.

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Nancy Dolan

Michele M Tivey
SMT Media
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